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All-Star Designers: Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler of Water Mill

Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler, owners of Mabley

Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler, owners of Mabley Handler Interior Design in Water Mill, in a living area they designed for a Hampton Bays home. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

After visiting an endless number of designer show houses and poring over portfolios, Newsday has pulled together 11 designers, including this husband-and-wife team, who bring beauty and drama to Long Island’s homes. We’ve taken a peek at what they’ve been up to recently and learned a little more about what makes each of them stand out from the pack.

This week, we chat with Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler of Mabley Handler Interior Design in Water Mill, where the couple also lives.

How would you sum up your design style?

Transitional, beach-chic.

What’s your biggest design influence?

The Hamptons, the area where we live and work is our biggest design influence. We’re inspired by the light out here, the color of the ocean and the dunes, the sunsets, the beautiful beaches, the horse farms and charming villages.

What is your best recommendation for home furnishing shopping on Long Island?

Mecox in Southampton/East Hampton, English Country Antiques in Bridgehampton, and Serena & Lily Beach Market in Wainscott.

What is one piece in your own home that you couldn’t live without?

Probably our kitchen table. It’s not that the table itself is irreplaceable, but it’s more that we love gathering around our kitchen table, as opposed to an island, with our family and friends for meals and socializing.

What is the most unusual space you’ve ever designed?

For the past few years we have designed the VIP green room at the Hamptons International Film Festival, which is in a sculpture gallery at Guild Hall in East Hampton. We are huge film lovers, so it is very exciting for us.

Is there a restaurant or other commercial space that you love the look of?

The Wolseley restaurant in London and The Witchery in Edinburgh are both spectacular.

What’s your favorite type of home architecture?

We have a deep appreciation for the classic shingle-style home, but we’re also intrigued by contemporary hybrids like modern farmhouses and transitional barns.

What makes a great client?

Our best clients are people who have an appreciation for design and know what they like, and trust that we can unite our vision with theirs.

Which other designers do you admire?

Dorothy Draper for her bold and daring design, Jamie Drake for his use of color, Thomas O’Brien for his curatorial eye for details.

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